Presented on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 in the Barn at Quarry Farm. Join Lawrence Berkove and Joseph Csicsila as they challenge the prevailing belief that Mark Twain's position on religion hovered somewhere between skepticism and outright heresy. Their recent book, Heretical Fictions: Religion in the Literature of Mark Twain, is the first full-length study to assess the importance of Twain's heretical Calvinism as the foundation of his major works, bringing to light important thematic ties that connect the author's early work to his high period and from there to his late work.
Lawrence I. Berkove is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. He is the editor of The Fighting Horse of the Stanislaus: Stories and Essays by Dan De Quille, The Sagebrush Anthology: Literature from the Silver Age of the Old West, and The Best Short Stories of Mark Twain and co-editor of The Short Fiction of Ambrose
Bierce as well as author of numerous articles on Twain.
Joseph Csicsila is Professor of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University. His writings includeCanons by Consensus: Critical Trends and American Literature Anthologies (2004); Centenary Reflections on Mark Twain’s No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger(2009), co-edited with Chad Rohman; and Heretical Fictions: Religion in the Literature of Mark Twain (2010), co-authored with Lawrence Berkove. Csicsila is also editor of the Modern Library edition of Mark Twain’s The Gilded Age (2005) and the Broadview Press teaching volume ofA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Forthcoming 2017). He is currently at work on a full-scale study of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which will appear in 2018.